International / Multinational

Director of Programme Operations at Save the Children Nigeria

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in over 120 countries. We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfil their potential. Save the Children is working in Nigeria because one in five children in Nigeria dies before their fifth birthday. About 40% of children miss out on school and have to work to survive while nearly 2 million children have lost one or both parents to an AIDS-related disease.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Director of Programme Operations

Job ID: 20000416
Location: Abuja with frequent travel (40%)
Team / Programme: Nigeria Country Office Senior Management Team
Grade: TBC (Competitive Package)
Post Type: National or International
Employee Status: Permanent
Reports to: Country Director

Child Safeguarding

  • Level 3- The responsibilities of the post may require the post holder to have regular contact with children or young people and, in the overseas context all posts are considered to be level 3 posts in view of potential situations which may allow staff unsupervised access to vulnerable children and young people.

Role Purpose

  • As a member of the Senior Management Team, the Director of Program Operations shares in the overall responsibility for the direction and coordination of the Country Office.
  • The Director of Program Operations is responsible for the effective delivery of programming in country, the Emergency Preparedness and Response plan, the line management of all State and sub offices and of Supply Chain for the Country Office.

Scope of Role:

  • Dimensions: Save the Children works in over 10 states in Nigeria with a current staff complement of approximately 400 staff and current expenditure of approximately USD 40m each year.
  • Staff directly reporting to this post: Deputy DPO, Area Managers, Chief of Parties/Programme Managers; Head of Supply Chain  and Program Operations Officer

Key Areas of Accountability
As a member of the Senior Management Team, contribute to:

  • Leadership of the Nigeria Country Office.
  • Support the development of an organisational culture that reflects SCI’s  approach to programming that requires accountability and high performance of programme and field office managers, encourages a team culture within the matrix management structure that ensures the technical quality of programming, and promotes at all time the Save the Children theory of change.
  • Develop with the Programme Development and Quality unit a quarterly plan for ongoing technical support to all sectors across all programmes.
  • Participate in the development of the country strategy and its implementation, monitoring progress through bi annual reviews.
  • Ensure strong performance management for Program Operations department at the Abuja, State and sub-offices
  • Help establish, maintain, and improve active and regular working relationships with: host government authorities, donors, partner agencies including major institutional donors, and local and international NGOs
  • To work closely with managers in the Regional Office and ensure that communications channels between the CO and the regional office are open, efficient and that reporting deadlines are met as required

Oversight and Management of Program Operations:

  • Responsible for overall coordination of the cost effective delivery of high quality programmes and through this provide leadership and management support to State Office Teams.
  • In close coordination with SMT colleagues participate in the program proposal development process and  ensure that all programs progress in accordance with grant agreements, are completed within time and on budget
  • Serve as overall responsible for all programme budgets and awards, appoint budget holders, ensuring they have the necessary skills and support to manage complex budgets and hold them accountable for budget development, monitoring and reporting.
  • Ensure programs are compliant with SCI and donor compliance requirements.
  • Ensure programme managers/COP prepare timely and high quality progress and donor reports
  • In close collaboration with the Director of finance ensure that strong and clearly articulated controls are in place to allow for the decentralisation of the decision making and management processes.
  • Lead on developing annual plans and budgets for the strengthening of the operational platform and that quality programme standards are met.

Supply Chain:

  • Build a high performing Supply Chain team, capable of gearing up to provide a humanitarian response when necessary ensuring that the programme secures value for money at all times and that SCI procedures and processes are followed to the letter.
  • Manage the CO Supply Chain function ensuring that all CO logistics activities (fleet, assets, transport, supply chain, base setup etc) are coordinated
  • Ensure that the CO logistics capacity and systems meet the SCI MOS and are able to satisfy the programming requirements
  • Ensure appropriate and adequate emergency logistics procedures are detailed in the Country Office Emergency Preparedness Plan in order to enable rapid scale up
  • Provide leadership to the CO supply chain department ensuring that all CO supply chain activities (fleet, assets, transport, supply chain, base setup etc) are coordinated
  • Ensure goods and services procured are cost effective and of standard quality
  • Ensure procurement processes are effectively implemented
  • Work closely with the procurement team in negotiating the best deals with suppliers

Information Technology:

  • Support the day to day management of the IT department ensuring IT is adequately resourced
  • Ensure IT contributes to programme planning and implementation using technology where feasible encouraging innovation.

Humanitarian Response Management:

  • Ensure that there is an emergency preparedness plan in place and that this is reviewed on a 6 monthly basis. This plan should ensure that the CO is able to assess new and emerging threats to children, issue alerts through the regional support structure as appropriate and respond in an effective manner as resources and capacity allows.
  • Collaborate with relevant departments at the CO to ensure timely decisions are made regarding opportunities for delivery of humanitarian concept notes and project proposals.
  • Strengthen the country office readiness to respond to emergencies in line with global SCI humanitarian goal and benchmarks
  • Ensure that the country office designs, updates and implements a full set of humanitarian preparedness actions, drawing on SC member input and resources
  • Mount appropriate and  timely responses at scale to all emergencies consistent with established benchmarks, plans and organizational policies, and in close cooperation with incoming surge teams
  • Ensure that all country office staff across departments and sub offices are familiar with, adhere to and implement the procedures and processes detailed in the Rules and Principles for humanitarian response
  • In coordination with Country Director and Program Design and Quality maintain consistent and coherent engagement in key inter-agency emergency preparedness and response coordination mechanisms including the Cluster system
  • Ensure the humanitarian programme delivery is principled and is based on SCI global standards where applicable and on other global minimum standards, such as SPHERE.

Staff Safety and Security:

  • Ensure that all safety and security minimum operating standards are met by the operations team
  • Work with the Safety and Security Manager to ensure implementation of staff security guidelines and ensure periodic security assessment are carried out at the State and sub-office level and reports submitted to the SSM on time.

Staff Management, Mentorship, and Development – Program Operations:

  • Ensure appropriate staffing within Program Operations, including State and sub office staff
  • Ensure that all staff understand and are able to perform their role in an emergency
  • Manage Program Operations team; define expectations, provide leadership and evaluate direct reports regularly
  • Ensure the recruitment, training, and promotion  of  staff as appropriate and ensure availability of appropriate professional development opportunities for staff
  • Incorporate staff development strategies and Performance Management Systems into team building process.  Establish result based system and follow up
  • Manage the performance of all staff in the Program Operations work area through:
  • Effective use of the Performance Management System including the establishment of clear, measureable objectives, ongoing feedback, periodic reviews and fair and unbiased evaluations;
  • Coaching, mentoring and other developmental opportunities;
  • Recognition and rewards for outstanding performance;
  • Documentation of performance that is less than satisfactory, with appropriate performance improvements/ workplans.

External Representation:

  • Facilitate funding and non-funding partnership (within the SCI global partnership framework) to increase participation and design of quality capacity building plans for partners. Including NGO partners (local and international) , networks, alliances, institutions, UN, Government of Nigeria, etc.
  • Actively engage with the HCT, iNGO Forum and other coordination platforms
  • Provide feedback to CO, RO, SC Members for global messaging and engagements with international coordination fora, concerned with northeast Nigeria or the Lake Chad Basin crisis.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Recommended a minimum of 6 years management experience in a corporate or an NGO environment, including significant field operations experience in both development and humanitarian programs.
  • A very good understanding of at least three of the sectoral programs and a working knowledge of the program priorities of the Country Office
  • Substantial experience in logistics, including procurement, supply chain, fleet management & inventory
  • Proven experience of working with key international donors and raising funds including USAID/, DfID, ECHO/EU.
  • Substantial experience and knowledge of effective financial and budgetary control
  • Previous experience (at Senior Manager or Director level) of managing and developing a  team and the ability to lead, motivate and develop others.
  • Robust experience of NGO emergency program cycle management, and with experience of working within a complex and matrix organisation structure
  • Solid project and personnel management skills related to organisational development projects and international, cross-functional teams with a proven history of delivering results
  • Ability to analyze information, evaluate options and to think and plan strategically
  • An in-depth  understanding  of  national  and  international  development  issues  in particular in relation to children
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Commitment  to  and  understanding  of  Save  the  Children’s  aims,  values  and principles  including rights-based approaches

Desirable :

  • Postgraduate Masters degree  in  development  or  other  social  sciences
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Commitment  to  and  understanding  of  Save  the  Children’s  aims,  values  and principles  including rights-based approaches
  • Excellent personal organisational skills, including time management, and ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure

Skills and Behaviours (Our Values In Practice)

  • Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved


  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages others to do the same
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically


  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to


  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • Willing to take disciplined risks


  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency

Deadline: 5th August, 2020.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

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